Standard Media Index (SMI)—an advertising intelligence firm specializing in calculating ad spend and ad revenue for several international markets—has released its April national advertising revenue report. In the report SMI notes, most importantly, that national TV ad revenue is up 4 percent in April YoY. Other notable upticks were in sports, primetime original programming, and cable news.
In addition to national TV seeing growth, the digital, radio, out-of-home ad revenues were up at 18 percent, 13 percent, and 45 percent, respectively, with only print seeing a significant drop at -33 percent YoY.
Primetime original programming—which is defined as new episodes of drama, original comedy and reality shows across both broadcast and cable—ad revenue was up 11 percent YoY in April. The big winners for broadcast television include singing shows American Idol and The Voice taking in $48 million and $60 million, respectively, Empire, and Scandal. For cable, AMC’s The Walking Dead earned $17 Million.
SMI also notes that reboots, prequels and spinoffs were a big trend in broadcast TV programming. In terms of ad costs per 30-second spots: “the four most expensive comedy programs this month were: CBS’ The Big Bang Theory charging $267,267 … followed by NBC’s revival of Will & Grace at $205,829, then CBS’ prequel Young Sheldon at $183,408, and ABC’s revival Roseanne at $167,159.” ABC canceled Roseanne last week, but there are reports a spinoff (without Roseanne Barr) could be in the works.
Cable news was also a winner, the report says, “the big three cable news networks—FOX News, CNN, and MSNBC—have maintained the strong growth they have seen this year, earning 24 percent more ad revenue than April last year.”
Overall, cable channels’ ad revenue was up 6 percent while broadcast channels remained static. It’s important to recognize a report like this is not all-encompassing in terms of TV watching. Note that HBO and Netflix would not be included in this report because these companies are subscriber-based and do not run ads.